India to get 10 military copters from Russia in first tranche

NAYANIMA BASU Moscow | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on August 28, 2017

A Kamov Ka-226T military helicopter

Russia plans to deliver 10 Kamov Ka-226T military helicopters to India in a first tranche as part of a $1-billion deal, under which India will procure 200 such copters from that country. It expects the Indian Defence Ministry to make the first tranche of payment by the year-end.

“We plan to deliver the first shipment of 10 helicopters after we receive the first payment. We are still in discussions with the Indian Ministry of Defence as to when the first payment will be made. We hope it will be made by this year,” Russian Helicopters CEO Andrei Boginsky told BusinessLine in an interview.

$1-billion deal

Under the $1-billion deal in which India will be buying 200 Ka-226Ts from Russia, 60 will be procured in fly-away condition while 140 will be produced in India in collaboration with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).

Last week, HAL officials visited Moscow to have a meeting with Rosoboronexport, Russia’s sole defence trade agency. They discussed the payment timeline, localisation of Ka-226T, location of the proposed manufacturing plant and terms for transfer of technology (ToT).

“So far our team has gone to six locations in India and we are yet to finalise where we want to build the plant. We have to choose the depends on the rent prices, etc. We have an inter-governmental agreement, according to which we will be sending 60 helicopters to India in fly away condition while the remaining 140 will be manufactured in India,” added Boginsky.

He further said HAL has sought 50 per cent ToT. However, the matter is still under discussion. HAL’s French partner Safran will also have to roped in for this because the system of Ka-226T has been produced by it, he added.

“From our side, we are ready because it is necessary to make a roadmap and it depends on HAL,” he said.

Looking for partners

Russian Helicopters is also scouting for joint ventures with some of India’s leading private defence firms such as Mahindra Defence Systems and Bharat Forge for the Kamov project.

“We need the expertise of local companies for after-sales issues and spare parts. We are in talks with Mahindra and Bharat Forge, which are interested in cooperating with us in this project,” said Boginsky.

Russian Helicopters is also planning to build a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) plant for the Kamov helicopters in India.

Boginky said that the company expects additional orders of Kamov helicopters from India.

“There is a possibility to increase the number of helicopters to more than 200 in future. The Indian Army needs this kind of helicopters. So both governments agreed to 200, but the partnership has an option of increasing the number. We have made a naval version of KA-226T and we are ready to offer that to India,” he said.

In December 2015, at the Indo-Russia summit in Moscow, an inter-governmental agreement was signed for implementation of the project for production of KA-226T helicopters in India.

(The writer was in Russia at the invitation of International Congresses and Exhibitions Ltd to attend the Army-2017 event)

Published on August 28, 2017
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